Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prufrock-Litton - St. Louis, Missouri

I'm sorry! If I had gotten this post to you a little earlier (100 years and a few months), you could have made it to the Prufrock-Litton sale. They were selling furniture at cost and I'm sure it was a fun event.

Prufrock-Litton was based in St. Louis, but eventually had a showroom on Fifth Ave in New York City and also a manufacturers building in Grand Rapids. According to an advertisement in Volume 50 of Furniture World (September 4, 1919), they sold overstuffed leather furniture and American and English Morrocos, tapestry and other fabrics. Not only did Prufrock-Litton occupy a full block, it also operated a French tea garden in the store.

The postcard shows the new building. I'm not sure where the old building was, but clearing it out seems to be the premise for the sale.

Prufrock-Litton was capable of some very creative marketing. The company printed many advertising postcards, and once they even sent up a huge helium balloon with their name emblazoned on it, with an attached letter that promised a free $50 chair for the finder of the the balloon. The balloon drifted 300 miles before it landed and was claimed by a man in Kentucky.


  1. All the chaps at my club prefer Prufrock-Litton products. Let us go then, you and I, with a balloon recovered from evening sky.

  2. I wish my grandparents had gone to the sale and purchased some great leather chairs for me to inherit!

  3. Dear Robert,
    We regret to inform you that your jingle was not selected as the winner for our jingle contest, despite the fact that we liked it very much. Had you submitted it prior to the deadline (March 15, 1910), it is likely you would have been our winner.
    Best regards and better luck next time,

  4. It's okay, though; I gave the jingle to my friend J. Alfred, who says he's going to use it in a love song.(?)

  5. found many bills of lading from prufrock- litton dating 1914 & 1915 if any one is interested.

  6. I just purchased a cabinet on in Boulder, CO. The faded sticker on the back says the A.A.A. Patent Drawer Guide and Stops was patented on July 28, 1903 and it was "#3" by Prufrock and Litton Furn. Co, St. Louis, MO. It's beautiful, and slightly worn, as it should be.



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